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6/1/19
Used Change of address tool, lost all rankings/traffic 0 Recommended Answers 8 Replies 3 Upvotes
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About half a year ago I moved my site to a new domain by following the normal procedure: moving content, setting up 301s (tested and verified) and then used the change of address tool in the old interface. 

Shortly after I lost practically all traffic/rankings and 6 months down the line the situation is still the same. 

There is no indication that the move is complete (other than the first steps, which went ok). The original domain still has about a dozen pages that Search Console sees as "indexed" and "valid" for some reason. But when I test them, they all redirect to the new domain (as they should).  

Any tips as to what the reason could be would be greatly appreciated.
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6/1/19

Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. Without details it's hard to help. Can you give us your old URL and your new URL?
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6/1/19
Yes of course. The old domain is fastestssd.com and the new one is ssd.technology. I moved it strictly for rebranding purposes. Both are verified and in the same Search Console account.
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6/1/19
When did you say you moved the domain?
 
 
This is Google's cache of https://www.fastestssd.com/category/reviews/. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 13 Apr 2019 05:16:15 GMT.
 
... so Googel found the 'old domain' in April 2019. 
 
Others have moved, eg
 
can see even though fastestssd.com in the query, can see its indexed the redirect at the new domain.
This is Google's cache of https://ssd.technology/about/
 
 
 
But as Dan says, it still doesnt follow that the move caused the ranking drop. It might well of happened if there hadn't been a rebrand. 
 
But also the rebrand can cause a change in ranking. For example it could literaly be that got some of ranking, with the word 'Fastest'. 
 
 
 
 
 
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6/1/19
Thanks for your reply. Yes, it's certainly possible that rankings could have changed anyway, but the new domain is showing all the tell-tale signs of the infamous "sandbox" behavior, although it's supposed to be an outright address change. 

I could mention that I did the equivalent address change procedure at Bing, which worked just fine. It's actually doing better there than the old domain did (though with just a fraction of the traffic obviously). 

As mentioned, the move + change of address tool use was last year, about 6 months ago (don't remember the exact date). 

How is it possible that Google is finding, caching and indexing the old domain, when the live URL is a 301 to the new domain?
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6/1/19
It appears it didnt see a redirect on the 13th April. 
 
Although its alos possible it was a bug at Googel, that time was a turbulent time at Google with a major issue, affecting many sites being indexed. 
 
I can only suggest using URL Inspection on the (old) URL. Use the 'View Crawled Page' and look at HTTP Response (in More Info!) - to see the http headers, and which should reveal the headers Google saw. 
 
THat could give clues if your some reason your server DIDNT return a redirect, or maybe ti will reveal Google is using a cached version of the page at that time. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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6/1/19
Looks like this:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2017 01:02:20 GMT
Server: Apache
Link: <https://www.fastestssd.com/wp-json/>; rel="https://api.w.org/"
X-Powered-By: W3 Total Cache/0.9.5.2
Content-Encoding: gzip
Vary: Accept-Encoding,User-Agent
Set-Cookie: wfvt_3172850542=58cc871d263e5; expires=Sat, 18-Mar-2017 01:32:21 GMT; Max-Age=1800; path=/; httponly
Last-Modified: Sat, 18 Mar 2017 01:02:21 GMT
Keep-Alive: timeout=2, max=500
Connection: Keep-Alive
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
X-Google-Crawl-Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2019 05:16:15 GMT

What is that last line doing in the header?
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6/1/19
That X-Google-Crawl-Date is added by Google, when doing the crawling. It just serves as a record when Google did the crawling. Quite literally what powers the 'Last crawl' promt in the general Coverage information. 
 
 
But most interestingly in there is the Date: header, which should be the date when the content was fetched from origin server (ie the first hop outside Google)
 
.... so yes Googel did resurect a really old copy. Seen this behaviour on a number of sites. Can only assume that during the crawling issue, a large number of pages were lost from index, so Google tries to resurrect as much as possible from old backups, so put in a system to get pages from a cached backups. 
 
 
All can do in practical standpoint is try to trigger to recrawl the URL again NOW, so and hope this old cache is still not in place. Hopefully that will help case it to be reindexed as a redirect. 
 
... hopefully as more pages are consolidated on the new domain, will help consolidate pagerank. 
 
 
 
 
Last edited 6/1/19
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6/1/19
Ok, so it's some sort of bug then... I'll try requesting a new crawl of the affected pages and see what happens. 

Thanks for taking the time!
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